First Monday of November – and with that time for the Secret Recipe Club! This month I was sent out of the US and south of the border to check out Leslie’s La Cocina de Leslie blog which is packed full of spicy traditional dishes. I’m a huge fan of spicy food, and over time my husband has also grown to appreciate the delicious that comes from a good pepper. Leslie’s blog had so many delicious treats to pick from, and more than a fair number of them used ingredients or techniques that were new to me – which are my favorite dishes to pick! In the end I decided to go with one that had a new ingredient as well as a new technique – as a bonus it’s a technique that wouldn’t have worked at my old place with our electronic stove. So enough teasing – time to share her incredible Poblano Mac & Cheese which made enough for a fantastic dinner and a tasty lunch the next day. I had to a make a small change due to allergies but since her recipe was already vegetarian perfection it was only the lime/cilantro that had to go away. I used wasabi arugula from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm but any variety would work – just figured the added spice would fit right in!
2 poblano chiles
8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1-3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped arugula, chopped
12 oz. grated Manchego
- Roast the poblano peppers directly over an open flame until the skin is charred and blistering. Place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal for 5 minutes. Remove the skin, and then seed and dice. Set Aside
- Cook the pasta per instructions on box until al dente. Rinse and remove to a lightly oiled casserole dish.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Melt the better in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add in the flour and stir until well combined, then slowly whisk in the milk. Cook until thick, around 7 minutes, then add the spices along the pepper and arugula.
- Turn off heat, and slowly stir in half the cheese. Once melted stir in to the pasta, then top the pasta with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes - then serve and enjoy!
Manchego cheese was a pain in the arse to locate at my grocery store but well worth it - that stuff was AMAZING!
I also bookmarked another handful of dishes for the future, most of which will need to wait until next summer when fresh tomatoes are available. The first on the list are her entomatados with the rajas con crema close behind. So many amazing dishes to try – a few of which I had never even heard of! Needless to say this SRC was another smashing success.